Lois Dinneen Wholey
Age 97, of Pittsburgh, surrounded by her family, died peacefully on August 14, 2021. A 70-year member of the Confraternity of Christian Mothers, Lois received great joy and peace from her devotion to Our Blessed Mother.
Lois graduated from Carlow University '45 and for her academic and community achievements was inducted into the National Who's Who of American Colleges.
Post graduation, she taught as an adjunct professor at Carlow while working as an in-house writer for Equitable Gas. Lois went on to write weekly newspaper ads for over 60 years under her pseudonym “Frances Fish” for the Robert Wholey & Co. Inc., which she co-founded with her late husband, Robert. Her 65 years of creating, supporting and promoting the Wholey brand earned her industry accolades. In the early fifties, Lois established transparent salaries and policies in the company which enabled minority employees and women to qualify for home ownership. She and her husband nourished a culture of gender equality and diversity which is still thriving today at Wholey's.
Lois was a writer even well into her 90’s. Her writing acumen proved useful to her later career as the original “work from home” copywriter for Kaufmann’s. Pre internet, a daily cab would deliver from Kaufmann’s the merchandise they wanted Lois to describe for their advertising copy. She co-authored “International Cuisine by the World’s Great Chefs," sourcing global recipes and their contexts from acclaimed chefs at the 1961 Culinary Olympics in Denmark. Published initially by Citadel Press, her book is still in print today.
Later in her life, Lois enrolled at the New York National Academy of Design to pursue her painting. Her lifelong love of art came after she was chosen to be a Carnegie Museum of Art Tam O’ Shanter along with others such as Andy Warhol. Lois inspired all her children with a profound gratitude for the arts. Daniel Wholey, her son and family spokesman said, "It is a sad day for our family and friends. Our Mother was the quintessential lady, artist, and conversationalist. We appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers.”
Lois was a staunch advocate for education (recipient of Carlow University’s “Women of Spirit” award in 1995) and of many social outreach programs (including the American Ireland Fund where she and Robert were honored for their cross cultural education at The American Ireland Fund dinner in 1996).
Lois is predeceased by her husband of fifty years, Robert C. Wholey. As matriarch of the Wholey family, Lois imbued all her children with love, spirituality, and a desire for personal and professional growth. She raised 9 children and will be deeply missed by them, their spouses, her 24 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren, and many friends.
The Wholey family lovingly thank Dr. Adele Towers and her team at Benedum Geriatric Center.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Lois Dinneen Wholey 1945 Women of Spirit Scholarship at Carlow University, or The East Side Settlement House in New York City.
Due to Covid precautions visitation is private. A Mass of Christian Burial thanking God for Lois in our lives will be held at Mary, Queen of Peace Parish/Saint Mary of the Mount Church, 403 Grandview Ave., Mt. Washington, Pittsburgh, on Wednesday, August 18 at Noon. Masks are required.
Arrangements entrusted to the Brusco-Falvo Funeral Home, Inc., Mt Washington (412-381-2323).
Godspeed dear Lois.
To view the Livestream Funeral Mass at 12 noon, on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, please use the following link.